The team behind Derry-Londonderry’s Culture Tech festival have this week announced a £20,000 competition for digital startups, alongside a range of new speakers and acts for the August event.

Culture Tech, a four-day festival of digital culture, music and technology, will take place in the historic Walled City between August 29th and September 1st, in the run up to the city’s tenure as UK City of Culture in 2013. As part of the event, the organisers have launched SeedComp in search for the region’s best new digital business ideas.

The competition, which opened on Monday, is open to anyone interested in setting up a digital business in the city and features a first prize of £10,000 alongside two runner-up prizes of £5000 each. A selected shortlist of entries will be invited to present to a judging panel of investors and entrepreneurs during the Culture Tech festival with the three winners presenting live on-stage in front of an estimated 500 delegates, before collecting their awards.

The announcement comes alongside news of several new high-profile speakers at the event including Sir Nick Kenyon, Director of the Barbican in London, Idan Cohen, co-founder of Boxee.com and Julian March, the new Head of Digital for ITV news, sport and weather.

Mark Nagurski from Digital Derry, organisers of the festival, explained: “Culture Tech is a celebration of all things digital and entrepreneurship has become one of the defining factors of our digital culture. Last year’s SeedComp winners have gone on to secure major investment and we’re delighted to be able to make this exciting competition a key part of Culture Tech this year. Moreover, bringing it into the festival will create a unique opportunity for aspiring digital entrepreneurs to get their ideas in front of well-known industry professionals, keynote speakers, the media and the over 500 delegates we expect to welcome to the city for the event.”

The festival, which is being backed by Invest Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, Seagate and urban regeneration company ILEX amongst others, will be announcing a major programme of music events, as well as its main keynote speakers, in early July. Tickets are currently available online via the festival website at www.culturetech.co with further information about SeedComp at www.digitalderry.org

 

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